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An 86-Year-Old White Castle in Queens Closes This Week

Plus, a cactus shop that doubles as a Mexican cafe is headed to Brooklyn — and more intel

A white, castle-shaped building with blue text that reads “White Castle.”
White Castle opened at 88-08 Northern Boulevard in 1935.
Google Maps

A location of White Castle in Jackson Heights closed its doors on Wednesday after 86 years in the neighborhood. The national chain, known for its square, slider-style patties, cited “rising costs and increasing uncertainty during the pandemic” as reasons for the closure, according to CBS. Local publication Sunnyside Post reports that sales at this particular location had been slow.

“It’s extraordinary this White Castle, which first opened on August 1, 1935 has continued in operation as long as it has — and we’re eternally grateful for the memorable moments that happened here,” the restaurant shared in a statement to ABC 7.

This Queens location of the national chain has been family-owned since 1935, when it opened at 88-08 Northern Boulevard, between 88th and 89th streets. The chain also has locations in Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Jamaica, Bayside, Ozone Park, and Queens Village. All of its workers have been offered jobs at other nearby locations of White Castle, according to Sunnyside Post.

Grub Street welcomes its new diner-at-large

Grub Street is out with the first installment of the Year I Ate New York, a series that sends writer Tammie Teclemariam in search of compelling meals across the city — and also, some understanding about how the pandemic is affecting New York diners. “What I discovered during this somewhat insane (and extremely cold) stretch of days is that New Yorkers, by and large, have separated into two distinct factions,” Teclemariam writes. “People are no longer tentatively returning to restaurants. They are firmly ‘in’ or they are firmly ‘out.’” Her first column took her to 26 different restaurants, mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

If you come in contact with Sarah Palin this week

Give her our best. On Thursday, the office of Mayor Eric Adams urged anyone who crossed paths with the former Alaska governor during her unvaccinated dining spree this week to get COVID tested. “We encourage any New Yorker who came into contact with Sarah Palin to get tested, just as we encourage all New Yorkers to get tested regularly, especially those who believe they may have been exposed to Covid-19,” ” a mayoral spokesperson told the New York Daily News.

A shop for cacti, tacos, and eventually cocktails

Greenpointers steps inside the Cactus Shop this week, a plant shop at 231 Kent Avenue, near North First Street, in Williamsburg that will soon double as a Mexican cafe and bar. The business began selling flautas, gorditas, and other casual foods for takeout and delivery this week, with plans to add carnitas, al pastor, birria, and other Mexican meats to the menu when its liquor license arrives.